AFTER hearing the four candidates for commissioner make their respective pitches, the PBA board has pegged May 14 as the likely date to make the final announcement on who will succeed outgoing PBA chief Chito Salud.
Emerging from a board meeting that lasted close to four hours on Thursday, Salud said the board was impressed by the presentations and responses given by Chito Narvasa, Vince Hizon, Jay Adalem and Rickie Santos.
“Each one took approximately half an hour during the interview with the board, and I thought, the questions were probing, were relevant and more importantly, the answers given by the candidates were very, very insightful and forward-looking,” said Salud, speaking on behalf of the PBA board.
Salud, who concurrently functions as the pro league’s president and chief executive officer (CEO), admitted that any of the four candidates could easily grab the soon-to-be-vacated position of game commissioner due to their solid credentials and vision for the league.
“We have a good, good batch of candidates. Anybody can get the position,” said Salud, who is rounding out his fifth season as league commissioner.
“So the board decided they will assess and evaluate each one based on their presentation, based on their background and based on their track record, then consult with their respective principals (team owners) and then meet again on May 14 and take the appropriate action,” he added.
Salud said he did not give any recommendation to the board, shortly after meeting with the four candidates one by one over the past week.
However, he did outline their specific strengths and the positive attributes.
“Whatever that action is, it’s up to the board of governors. I can’t pre-empt them. They just want to have a chance to assess and consult with their respective principals at this time,” he added.
Come the PBA’s rookie draft on August 23, Salud said the official turnover will be made to the new commissioner, who will formally handle the game-related affairs of the pro league.
“The COO (game commissioner) will run the affairs, that is game-related. He’ll handle the PBA and the PBA D-League and all matters and issues concerns, pertaining to the conduct of games like trades, sanctions, scheduling, venue selection, format, etc,” he said.
Hizon, who played for Ginebra during the late 1990s and won a PBA title under then playing coach Robert Jaworski, Sr., left the league office shortly after making the presentation.
However, Hizon, a born-again Christian, tweeted that he is committing his bid for commissionership to God.
“It is finished! It's all in your hands from here Lord!” Hizon said through his official Twitter account @VinceHizon12.